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Old 02-06-2008, 09:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Work ethic opinion

I would like some opinions on a certain subject that is related to work ethics.
A person I know got a job a year ago, building industrial grinders. The type of grinders used at airports and such. All the sewage goes through these grinders, such as feminine products women use, and basically everything flushed at an airport or other major building.
When he was hired, his job description was to build NEW grinders, and get them ready to be shipped to the buyers. In other words he was in assembly.
They evidently have a separate part of the company, called customer service, where grinders that have already been purchased, and have broken down , come in to be repaired. The people that work in the customer service part of the company, have all been given shots by the company, to ward off any infection they may incur, in doing that job. The grinders, when they come in for repair, are steam cleaned before they are worked on. Not thoroughly cleaned, but just given a quick steam cleaning.
It is the people who work in customer service that take care of the used grinders.
For the year my friend has been there, all he has done is assemble the new grinders. (I'm being redundant, sorryt)
Last night when he went to work, his supervisor had a grinder waiting for him to work on, that was used. This is the first time that has happened. My friend said the stench coming from the grinder, was far beyond anything a normal person would want to smell for even a few seconds, mush less working on it for 8 hours. He asked his supervisor what gives. He said, "I've been here over a year, and now you are going to change my job description on me. I'm an assembler, not customer service"
His supervisor said they were trying to merge customer service, with assembly, and have them work as one unit. My friend told his supervisor that if it had have been explained to him when he started the job, that he would be repairing USED grinders, he never would have taken the job.
My friend ended up telling his supervisor he was taking a sick day, and left.
He is not sure what is going to happen when he goes in today. What is your opinion on him leaving last night. he works the evening shift.
Do you think he should have stayed, and been a team player? or ?? Please keep in mind, that he was not given the series of shots, the people in customer service receive, in order to work on these used machines.
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Last edited by lktknow; 02-06-2008 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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best advice i can give? have him talk to h. r.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think this is a question of work ethic. I think it's a question of integrity.

It's not in his job description to fix the stinky used grinders, and if the company wants to merge it into his job description then he needs to decide if the job is still worth the money to him. The company can require him to do anything they want for him to earn their dollar. If he doesn't want to fix stinky ass grinders (I know I wouldn't.) then he needs to find a new job. That's not poor work ethic, that's personal choice.

The company should be providing proper safety precautions BEFORE they ask him to do something though.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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ya they always get you with the, " and all other duties as assigned." crap.

I am sure the boss didn't know about the merge when he was getting hired, so that is probably why he wasn't notified. also if he did know about it and didn't tell him, well then I would see that he didn't need to know. As an employer I doubt they looked at it how he does. They probably think that your friend is being picky.

but I personally, would try to find a new job because it could change your whole work area, if you start cleaning nasty junk all day.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think that this is about "work ethic". I think this is about "business ethics". Big difference there since we're talking about whether or not the company is morally right or your friend is lazy.

Given that the company knows there is a health hazard and that your friend wasn't given the proper safety equipment (innoculations) to work on the used gear, then I have to say that it's pretty clear cut. I'll also go so far as to say that it's a potential OSHA violation. There's clearly some danger to disease involved here, and if this company wants to consolidate the two departments (and I don't see any problem with that if their business is changing), then they need to do it the right way.

Here's my suggestion - your friend needs to go back to work today. He needs to tell his supervisor that he (your friend) is not going to work on used equipment until he's given all the proper safety equipment, including the innoculations. I imagine that that assemblers and customer service folks wear very different outfits while working, with the CS guys having eye guards, gloves, etc. that assemblers might not have. If the supervisor has a problem with that, then the friend needs to tell the supervisor that it's going up the chain. If the folks closer to the top don't correct the problem, the next phone call is to OSHA, etc.

If there's a union involved here, this should be even easier, but I get the feeling that there's not.
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i repeat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle phil
best advice i can give? have him talk to h. r.
__________________
"We were wrong, terribly wrong. (We) should not have tried to fight a guerrilla war with conventional military tactics against a foe willing to absorb enormous casualties...in a country lacking the fundamental political stability necessary to conduct effective military and pacification operations. It could not be done and it was not done."
- Robert S. McNamara
-----------------------------------------
"We will take our napalm and flame throwers out of the land that scarcely knows the use of matches...
We will leave you your small joys and smaller troubles."
- Eugene McCarthy in "Vietnam Message"
-----------------------------------------
never wrestle with a pig.
you both get dirty;
the pig likes it.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Talk to HR and make sure he has his job duties in writing. That supervisor was mistaken in telling him to work on something that obviously has a protocol to follow before doing the work(getting shots, wearing certain protection, etc) and should be made to know this-that's HR's job.
Walking out could get him a reprimand or suspension or worse, so he will need to make it known why he reacted as he did(which, to me was wrong, he should have just stated he is not prepared to do it based on company policy.)
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As has been mentioned, there is a degree of health and safety measures that seem to need to be followed. Not being afforded those measures is the only reason I can see for refusing the assignment. On the flip side, had they a task that involved him doing something completely soft and cushy would he have refused it due to it not being in his job description?

I hate job descriptions personally. Were I to go into work tomorrow and assigned to mop the shitters, I suppose I would do it. I certainly wouldn't enjoy it, but I doubt I would refuse it simply because it is not in line with my normal daily tasks.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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work

My friend said he went into work last night, and the grinder they had wanted him to work on, was still right by his bench, however his supervisor came over and asked him to complete the assembly of two new grinders being worked on. no mention of the used grinder sitting there.
He said the people in HR had gone home already, which is a problem with him working nights.
He is going to go in early next week and give his two weeks notice, or that is what he has said.
thank you all for your input.
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